Why it pays to be social in B2B Marketing
Social media is set to grow in importance for B2B marketing communications with the rise of millennial generational decision-makers in the workplace saying that it’s their top communication channel.
That’s according to findings published in a recent study by B2B International, which reveals that 94% of millennial decision makers in marketing are using social media for work, with three quarters of Gen-Z doing so at least at least once a week.
In fact, millennials have taken the workforce by storm, and they now hold influence and power in the decision-making process in UK businesses.
Clued-up on content, e-commerce and technology, they have a very clear mindset about work culture and dominate the B2B buying process.
Those businesses failing to adopt content marketing and social media in their sales and marketing strategies to include the audience, whether that’s within internal or external comms, could put them behind in the race to reach new customers.
Content marketing and social media can help build connections to bring in lucrative contracts. If you don’t have a plan for your B2B business, then you’re missing out.
Data by Statista reveals that there’s 64 million internet users in the UK and a staggering 57.6 million of them are active on social media, which translates into a social media penetration rate of 84% of the population. With supplementary research by Trust Radius showing that 60% of B2B buyers are millennials means there’s huge potential for businesses to engage with a much wider audience simply by producing engaging content and being more socially active online.
Other demographics are also seeking branded content online and through social with 85% of the more than 3,500 decision makers questioned for the research, using at least one form of social media for work, with 59% doing this weekly.
Evidently, social data has gone beyond B2C to influence B2B sellers and buyers, but brands need to get their content marketing and social media strategy right or risk losing the attention of the B2B buyer of today.
In fact, research by Linked In reveals that 95% of B2B buyers are not in the market for what companies are selling on any single day – so while businesses want instant results, building brand awareness online and long term social media engagement will be key to increasing sales in the year ahead.
The importance of digital in B2B marketing is compounded by further research which reveals that ‘winning brands’ are 65% more likely to have communicated to the buyer online and via social media on multiple occasions during the decision-making process.
In fact, millennial respondents said in the survey that their top preference for receiving B2B communications is online and via social media, followed by rep visits and videos.
On average, each part of the buyer’s journey can take around 2.5 months, but younger decision makers in the Gen-Z age group take almost 90 days longer and use 10 sources of information before making an informed decision.
In a separate study of all B2B executives, 84% use social media as a source for making purchase decisions. In the report by Leadspace, research also reveals that 92% of buyers use social media to engage with sales industry thought leaders, while 72% of B2B buyers use social media to research solutions.
Marketing to millennials is different because they’re online natives
as well as reading reviews about their products and services.
Figuring out how to make your marketing click with a younger crowd is easier than you think to connect with the B2B buyer of today because they are extremely socially active.
The biggest challenge facing digital marketers is engagement when trying to win over customers from the competition but taking time to learn about Gen-Z’s preferences and what makes them unique, brands stand to build valuable relationships that benefit all parties.
Reading / Sources
Connecting You With Today’s B2B Buyer B2B International
Active social media audience in the United Kingdom (UK) in February 2022 Statista
How to Sell to Millennial B2B Buyers TrustRadius
95% of B2B buyers are not in-market for your products right now. Peter Weinberg, Head of Development, The B2B Institute @ LinkedIn
Social Data’s Influence on B2B Sellers and Buyers [Infographic] MarketingProfs
The Biggest Challenges Facing Digital Marketers In 2023 linchpinseo